Senator calls to amend bill to rein in surveillance
WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Senate's intelligence committee said she wants to make changes to a bill passed by the House of Representatives to further narrow the scope of National Security Agency surveillance practices.
The House bill has confusing language regarding what kind of phone and Internet records the NSA would be permitted to gather in bulk, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat. That bill says it would allow collection of records that identify “a person, entity, account, address or device.”
“The language used in the bill is somewhat controversial,” Feinstein said on Thursday. “We should take a close look at the House legislation with a view to its passage, perhaps as amended in the Senate.”
The hearing was held on the one-year anniversary of the publication of documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden exposing the range of government surveillance tactics.
Technology and Internet companies including Microsoft and Google have asked the Senate to craft a version of NSA legislation that would narrow what was passed in the House. The companies are largely against the government's bulk gathering of emails and other Internet records.
U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole said during the hearing the government doesn't believe the House bill would permit bulk data collection, such as gathering records from an entire zip code.
“That would be the type of indiscriminate bulk collection that the bill is designed to end,” Cole said.
Federal investigators still need flexibility, he said. He outlined a scenario where if a terrorist stayed at a hotel, investigators may need to access records of other guests in the hotel to determine whether there are connections.
“We need to have enough room to do an investigation that would be effective, and we need to have enough restrictions so that we are not indiscriminately collecting records in bulk,” Cole said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Washington city takes stock of damage from rare tornado
- 1686 shipwreck ‘like dinosaur’ being rebuilt for museum
- Vehicle smashes Commandments on capitol grounds in Oklahoma City
- Federal officials: Dallas nurse free of Ebola
- Fight against Islamic State at impasse, military commanders say
- Feds fault security of tax info gathered for health care law benefits
- Driver accused of pretending to be Ohio cop
- Alleged trooper killer may have been seen Friday
- Sampling of toxins under way at former steel plant in Kentucky
- West Virginia University expels 3 students for postgame misconduct
- Defacements in national parks lead to outrage, probe